BIBLE READING: JAMES 5
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days
As compared to most of the rest of the world, America is a wealthy country. Not everyone in America is wealthy, but we have it far better than most of the world. Because of our culture, there is great pressure to accumulate wealth. It consumes some people. Either to be wealthy, or to at least appear to be wealthy. These verses warn us about the danger of allowing the desire for wealth to consume you. You do not need to be wealthy for wealth to consume you. There is nothing wrong with wealth, or being wealthy, or being wise with your wealth. Some of the greatest men in the Bible were wealthy. And yet, some of the greatest men in the Bible had nothing in earthly possession. Look at these principles:
WEALTH CAN BE FLEETING
“Your riches are corrupted.” This word corrupted means to putrefy, or to perish. It means temporary. Many have spent their whole life getting wealth and have found out how quickly it can be taken away.
WEALTH CAN BE FRAGILE
That is why he says, “your garments are motheaten”. Here is a picture of an individual that has given so much effort to accumulate something, and yet just a little, meaningless moth takes it away. This person thought it was safe in the closet, and yet the whole time it was fragile.
WEALTH CAN BE FAILING
“Your gold and silver is cankered”. Cankered means to corrode and rust down. He says, “the rust of them shall be a witness against you”. This means that if you do not invest your wealth and accomplish something eternal, it can literally rust away. It means that the accumulation of rust on this wealth will be proof that the wealth had consumed you.
WEALTH CAN BE FATAL
“Your gold and silver…..shall eat your flesh as it were fire”. You can literally be burned by the control of wealth. It can consume you like fire. It can stress you out, discourage you, worry you, make a dishonest person out of you, and obsess you. It can eat you up and spit you out. So here is the advice given in verse seven:
* “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.”